Wednesday, February 05, 2014



On the surface it might seem strange to have a band like Cleveland, Ohio's Seafair grace the pages of a site like Heavy Metal Time Machine. Formed in late 2010, and with rumors suggesting that their humble roots were at one point planted deep within punk rock's soil, Seafair would likely be dubbed an indie act by the press at large. And yet, as characterized by the group's latest EP "Photographs", these Cleveland scene-toppers offer so much in such a small package that even a slightly-cynical old man like me can't help but smile in appreciation! With her instantly-heartwarming voice, Chayla Hope (who also provides splendid pop keys for Seafair) highlights this act. Fairly-accurately described as bellowing, her classy-style of singing is something that one would naturally expect to find topping the charts of  pop radio not fronting a local band from my part of Ohio! Meanwhile bass player Joshua Riehl (a holdover from the group's early days) and drummer Ryan Kelly (of Cleveland favorites, Unsparing Sea) toss a charismatic rock beat towards the listener and, with little hope of fighting back against the groove, it's a clear-case of hook, line and sinker! As for strings? I mean besides the intricate indie rock bass lines of  Joshua Riehl. Well, that's where the real fun begins when talking about a one-of-a-kind act like Cleveland's Seafair. Along with solo-artist turned (smooth as silk) guitar hero Michael Flaherty (a fine six-string musician whose playing adds to the elegance at the heart of this Ohio act) the band employees a classically trained cellist in Tara Hanish (also formerly of Unsparing Sea) and a classically trained violinist in Andrea Belding! All of which does make Seafair's second overall EP from last November (the first being "Paintings" which was released in May of 2013) a bit hard to describe on paper admittedly (especially as it pulls from pop-rock one moment before shifting over into post-punk territory the next while simultaneously having these delicate classical music elements that I absolutely adored!). Still, even if I can't quite put my finger on what Seafair is supposed to be (live shows reportedly expand the experience ever further with "elements of rock, pop, indie, punk, disco, some blues, and sprinkle a coat of classical on the top of it"!) or how they are supposed to be described (even they kid about such matters as evident by their Facebook page) I know enough to suggest that "Photographs" is as quirky as it is fun! It's geared towards pop fans mostly, but with the ghosts of many a great indie rock band floating around them and the obvious way in which post-punk's shadow can be observed in it's background this one has greater potential then I can properly put to pen. Definitely needs to be heard if one is to truly appreciated everything this act has to offer.

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